The theme of this year’s Answers for Women conference is Embrace: Compassionate Answers in a Fallen World. As I explained in my earlier post on the conference, we want to help women understand the effects of sin in our fallen world (in addition to confronting people about their sin) and offer practical help and hope based on God’s Word and found in Jesus Christ. (See my other posts about presenters Camille Cates, Stacia McKeever, and Rose Colón).
I am very pleased that Dr. Rosaria Butterfield, speaker and author of The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith, will present her testimony about her conversion from a homosexual lifestyle to pastor’s wife and homeschooling mom saved by the wondrous power of Christ and His Word. She will also be sharing how to help those struggling with same-sex attraction whether personally or a family member or friend. This is what Rosaria had to say about her testimony and ministry:
I have so enjoyed my conversations with Rosaria over the last few months. She is a very humble woman who has a big heart and a great burden for helping for hurting. I have read her book and found it to be very convicting regarding how Christians should help those struggling with same-sex attraction. I am confident that you will be equipped and encouraged by her presentation. We have already received a record number of registrations for this year’s conference, so don’t miss out—register today!
Last week, my children and I took a homeschool field trip to the Duke University Lemur Center, the scientific conservation center that boasts the “world’s largest and most diverse collection of lemurs—Earth’s most endangered group of mammals—outside of Madagascar.” I live in Durham, NC, with my husband Kent Butterfield—who is the pastor of the First Reformed Presbyterian Church of Durham—and two of our four children. It was high time to get around to a visit to this premier scientific center, and I was eagerly anticipating learning all about lemurs.
Five minutes into the obligatory introductory video, the Lord confirmed for me that His call to homeschool our children was spot on. Five minutes into the video, the head of this prestigious center explained that the little lemurs—80 species in all—arrived on the island of Madagascar “millions and millions of years ago” by floating from Africa on little rafts. No joke. No explanation was given for who made these rafts (although my husband chimed in that surely the orangutan contributed to this). My 12-year-old turned to me, incredulous, and whispered, “Who made the rafts? How did they get food? And how did the lemurs survive the great storms? How did they give birth? Steer their little rafts?” And all I could think of was that unbelievers and evolutionists think that I live my life by a leap of faith.
This life I live now, Christian homeschooling mom and pastor’s wife, is light-years away from where I was when the Lord claimed me for his own. Sixteen years ago, I would have agreed with this video. Back then, I was Dr. Rosaria Champagne, tenured professor of English and Women’s Studies at Syracuse University, scholar in 19th century literature and culture (and advocate of Freud, Marx, Hegel, Darwin), author of a book in feminist theory and articles in queer theory, partnered to a woman, and a proponent of LGBT civil rights. My conversion did not come easily, and I lost everything but the dog when Christ claimed me for His own. But my conversion left me clearheaded about God’s authority and holiness and the integrity of the Word of God. My conversion left me clearheaded about why God demands sexual purity and what the purpose of sexuality is. My conversion left me clearheaded about how repentance is the threshold to God. My conversion left me clearheaded about how I am to befriend my gay neighbor and advocate for a Christian world and life view today. My conversion left me clearheaded about how dangerous it is to measure life by anything but scripture. My conversion left me clearheaded about what God intends for women. My conversion left me clearheaded about how there is no shame in this life I live now for Christ alone.
At the AIG women’s conference, I will be speaking about my train wreck conversion and its many character-changing edges. Please join me at the Creation Museum in April!
Rosaria Butterfield is the author of The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith (Crown and Covenant Publications, 2012), and Openness, Unhindered: More Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ (Crown and Covenant Publications, anticipated publication in summer, 2015).
Keep fighting the good fight of the faith!